Gloria Arroyo to seek treatment in Germany in September
LUBAO, Pampanga—Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said yesterday she would seek medical treatment for her spinal problems in Germany in September.
Arroyo disclosed her plans shortly after attending a Mass celebrating her release from almost four years of detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City while undergoing trial for plunder involving gambling funds.
The Supreme Court ordered her freed on July 19, concluding that the prosecution had insufficient evidence to tie her to the illegal use of intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Arroyo said the pain in her left arm had been constant, although she walked unaided during the Mass and did not wear a neck brace.
Arroyo, on her third and last term as representative of Pampanga’s second district, was met by cheering supporters at a junction leading to St. Augustine Church in Barangay San Nicolas II here. Streamers welcoming her back to Lubao adorned several fences.
She attended the Mass
together with her husband Mike Arroyo, sons Mikey and Dato, and granddaughters Mica and EV. Local officials, led by Gov. Lilia Pineda and Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda, joined her.
In his homily, Archbishop Emeritus Paciano Aniceto described Arroyo as “noble” for having exercised prudence and deep faith during her hospital detention.
“Thanks for this wonderful welcome,” Arroyo said when she addressed the people at the Mass. “It is good to be home at last,” she said in her seven-minute talk in Kapampangan.
Arroyo described her detention as “punishment for an innocent person,” which, she said, had prevented her from serving the second district well.
Despite these circumstances, Arroyo said she managed to bring services to her constituents through donations from nongovernment organizations and investors, and had been able to file various bills while being held at VMMC.
She said her jailers banned her from using a mobile phone and she was not allowed access to the internet. Visits were strictly regulated and, if
allowed, her guests underwent rigorous inspection.
“I was allowed one hour each day to exercise. The criticisms against me were nonstop. I bear up as my way of uniting with the Calvary of Christ,” she said.
Arroyo assailed her critics’ use of the justice system to harass their political enemies. “I hope I am the last of their victims,” she said.
“Today is a new day. Let’s work and be together,” she said. She had breakfast with her constituents, before proceeding to her house beside the church to receive more well-wishers.
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